Roughness: Poetry 3


I think ‘Roughness’ is a more fitting title than ‘Rough Stuff.’ I’ll be titling these posts that way from now on.

I’ve been thinking about abstraction a lot lately. One of my poetry professors was very much against writing too vaguely and too abstractly. I enjoy a level of vagueness, though. I like abstraction. I understand his concern. I understand that there’s a line to be drawn between interesting and indecipherable/ vacuous.

This may be an exercise in indecipherable/ vacuous writing:

One eye empty and five points hollow, my monster has taken my hand.

In our palm I undergo undergoing, but she’s undergone, underwent.

I haven’t yet gone, and I won’t say I won’t.

Eat our eyes as we sink beneath shore.

One chamber unchambers and we burst moments later, and my monster is squelched by our hand.

Rough Stuff: Poetry 2


I’ve been re-reading Zachary Schomburg’s FJORDS vol. I a lot lately. It’s strange and phantasmagorical. It’s often crude and, in many instances, covert in its poignance. His is awesome poetry. Here’s some of mine:

My best friend is the house where mommy cut dad, in my closet where I couldn’t see. My best friend’s scalp is pickable and won’t scab over, absorbent and blood won’t run under the door has knobs for me to hold when I’m lonely and though it whines when I’m rough, it comes back to the latch where it’s hard and tight and secure. It’s got a rack for my worries to organize and hang. It’s got four walls like long arms, like two hugs that can’t suffocate.

“I made a mistake,” mommy once said. “I made a mistake and I can’t take him back.” My best friend is my closet, dark and warmed by my heat. I can sometimes hear her heartbeat when I’m fetal inside.

Piercings: The Smell and the Fury


A good friend recently posted about her experience with her septum piercing, and I happened upon this Reddit thread around the same time. There’s an overlap between these subjects for me—one that some may find gross, but which I think we (us piercees) should feel no shame in admitting.

Piercings are wounds. Wounds eventually heal. Most piercings, with jewelry inserted, will not. This can make for a fairly smelly practice. This smell is oddly satisfying.

That is an understatement.

I’ve undergone many piercings, somewhere in the range of 25—all on my face, except for one on my right nipple: a sad piercing that never healed, but instead crusted over and stayed that way for a few weeks. It was nicknamed ‘the mummy nipple’ and its appearance was embarrassing enough that I had no choice but to remove it.

Like a kinky Karloff, but less sexy.

Of my facial piercings, four have been in or around my nose: two in my right nostril and two in my septum (I retired [removed] one years ago and recently had it redone). These, being so close to my olfactory department, have been noticeable in their slight funkiness. My ¾” stretched lobes act as sebum factories that, if unwashed long enough, emit a rank pollution to shame that of the Industrial Revolution.

If only I could have a Victorian boy climb in and clean them from the inside.

The smell is a difficult one to describe. Cheese, feet, and crotch come to mind. It’s a blend of that, I’d say—an undefined ratio of cheese:feet:crotch. I’m by no means an unclean individual—I generally shower daily and I do clean my piercings regularly—but a faint aroma will still usually develop throughout the course of the day.

The thing is, though, that it’s a great smell. It’s a bouquet of roses that budded from my pores. It’s an itch on my genital region so irritating that I have no choice but to perform the time-honored ‘scratch and sniff’ maneuver and smell the relief on my fingers afterward. It is my own brand of gassy emission. It is a scent I have alone created: eau de sécrétion: Fragrance of Me, Naturally sourced. 

It could be that I’m so narcissistic that my own smell pleases me to a revolting degree, but I don’t think so. It’s known (and too often denied) that people enjoy their own bodily odors.

I wish more people could experience the heightened sense of self-enjoyment that comes with a particularly smelly piercing. If you’re on the fence about getting pierced, do it. If not for a super hip image, do it for the awesome accompanying smells.

This guy must be in Smell-vana. I envy him a little.

Rough Stuff: Poetry


I need to practice writing more. I will use this blog as a motivator to do that.

I’ve chopped up a few things I’ve written and I’m now trying to rework them into something different–something better. Here’s a rough poem:

1. Fistula: an abnormal or surgically made passage between a hollow or tubular organ and the body surface, or between two hollow or tubular organs. The hard nodule that develops between pierced skin’s surfaces. The tough meat in a skin sandwich. Fistula sandwich. Fistula: can words, isolated, become hostile?

2. Razor burn: skin irritation caused by shaving with a dull razor or using improper shaving technique. Failing to lubricate the skin with shaving creams and gels, applying too much pressure, and shaving against the hair grain are improper technique. Razor burn varies in severity and can manifest as a mild rash or raised welts (which are usually accompanied by little pustules) called razor bumps. Razor bumps are nearly identical to zits. They often pop when squeezed.

3. My first piercing / hole / void of flesh was given to me by a friend in middle school. He did it with a safety pin. It was my first encounter with penetration.

4. To inflict razor burn upon yourself is to revisit puberty with its ugly and oozy blemishes.

5. The organization of it all—of the systematic removal of hair. Plucking single shoulder strands is rewarding, but there’s something about a heavy blade: the weight and sleekness of the stainless steel, the knurl-gripped handle designed to resist a slippery grasp. Plucking is fine, but razing is seductive.

6. To inflict razor burn upon yourself is to wear an awkward biological phase like a grotesque Halloween mask.

7. I’d fight with my girlfriend and then resolve it at the piercing parlor. 2 for $20 or 1 for the same price. We would fight and fistulas would fly.

8. You grasp the handle gently and let the weight of the head pull the razor across your cheeks, under your chin, and around your lips. There will be a stubbly resistance like coarse grit sandpaper, but if you’re tender with the blade, it will leave you sleek and smitten.

9. My nipple never healed. It was purulent for months. I’ll never again be so close to lactating. I’d make an exceptional stay-at-home mom.

Video Games: The Bulbous Motif of the Platformer and its Impact on My Reality


Since the advent of the modern video game, there has been (too much) debate over how they affect the minds of those who play. We’re all aware of this. Let’s not get too into the simulated grotesque acts of violence and their alleged real-world ramifications here. Instead, let’s talk about a motif that’s been around for as long as the humble platformer genre: the striking, touching, and depressing of bulbous buttons, items, and bodily appendages found therein.

The platformer game requires the player to guide their avatar through a (traditionally) linear stage while (traditionally) leaping between platforms, utilizing environmental artifacts, and traversing exotic terrain. The enemies often serve as minor obstacles—secondary platforms which aren’t always necessary to defeat, but which frequently serve as a means to reach some alternative goal: a hidden item, an extra life, or a tally toward defeating a requisite number of enemies.

I’ve found it interesting that these enemies appear so bulbous and engorged—so plainly designed to be struck/ stepped on/ deflated.

Aside from you, Piranha Plant. You fickle shrew.

It’s brilliant, the way developers were able to so aptly guide the players to equate the action of striking a coin block with that of leaping over a gap or jumping onto a Goomba’s head/ Koopa’s shell. How rewarding it was to discover the Goombas’ weakness for the first time. How satisfying it was to watch him crumple beneath Mario’s boots like a spent can of soda, or to kick a Koopa, recoiled in his shell, into a bottomless pit.

This conditioning—this established parallel between interacting with plump and swollen elements and progressing—was so effective that Nintendo relied on abandoning the mechanic in order to make certain interactions more puzzling and difficult.

Jump on? Bad idea.

Jump on? Out of the question.

I grew up playing these games. I grew up flinging my hedgehog body against Eggman’s diabolical egg-shaped robots and scraping the fungal residue of entire Goomba populations from the undersides of my feet. I grew up POW Block stomping, robot rolling, Super-Sonic transforming (ugh), and barrel hopping.

Interacting with weirdly misshapen, oddly inflated, and unusually bulbous items/ buttons/ appendages was, as is the norm nowadays, part of my early formative stage. If you see me on the street, unable to avert my gaze from your spherical body, or if we’re getting intimate and I can’t stop myself from booping and booping your generous nose, it’s not because I find your appearance laughable—it’s because you remind me of a time in my childhood when I was rewarded—in coins, rings, extra lives, or self-imposed extra challenge—for these behaviors. Don’t be offended. It’s endearing. You remind me of a time more fun, more whimsical.

Press Start.


I’d been meaning to start a blog for some time now, though I never really considered what I wanted to do with it. So here I am. So here we (I’ll include you, potential future readers) are. I’ll probably use this to gauge my competency as a writer. Hopefully I won’t decide that I suck too much more than I’d anticipated. I’m sure I might. I anticipate rambling. I anticipate improvement. We’ll see where we go.